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ce4jesus

Leaky BCD... need advice

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:) Well my wife and I just went diving last weekend and when we were doing the gear checkout...on the boat :lol: we discovered her BC was leaking from the seams. It appears like the seam seal failed in several areas along one side. Fortunately we were able to make the dives and always surfaced near the boat after the dives. What puzzles me is this BC is only a couple of years old and we really baby our gear. It was fresh water rinsed after every dive and rinsed on the inside once we returned home. Also, we only go on about 6 trips a year and that includes a couple of visits to the local lake. The BC is a Dacor Falcon so any warranty is null and void despite them being purchased by Mares.

 

Has anyone out there ever repaired a BC before, in particular one that was leaking around the seams? What were your post repair experiences? Should I forget about trying to repair it and just break down and buy a new one. The DM on the trip said to put some aquaseal on the outside of the seams. My thoughts were to see if I could put it on the inside through the dump hole, inflate it orally and hold it in such a manner to where the gravity would take the aquaseal to the leaking area.

 

Any thoughts?

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I would say as it's a BCD try to repair it first, you don't have to be in the water to test it out so give it a try, if it's a small leak then I to would try aqua seal, if bigger then re-think. When you think you've fixed it, fully inflate it and leave it if it's still full the next day then you just saved some bucks, if not, you probibly should buy another, try ebay?

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Don't put the Aquaseal inside and hope that gravity will work. First determine where the leak is by inflating it and putting it in the tub and submersing it. The bubbles will tell you where it's leaking. I have fixed a small pinhole this way with Aquaseal, that allowed me another year on a BCD. If there is a lot of air leaking out, I would advise investing in a new one; after all, it's your safety. Aquaseal is a great product for repairs, but is not that flexible when it comes to applying to large areas, and could create strain elsewhere.

 

Cheers,

Marli

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If your repair is along the seams Aqua Seal won't work that well.

 

I would put money on it not working

 

If you can thermally seal another seam that will work (I wouldn't know how or expect you to have a machine)

 

I would buy another one (and not Dacor)

 

I treat my BCD like crap and it is still going strong 7 years later Good old Seaquest Balance

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Self-adhesive rubber patches from bicycle repair kits, with a film of Aquasure over the top work well, and remain flexible, over holes.

 

If the seam has gone, then it suggests that the weld was badly made. You should probably junk the bag and try to get a replacement (difficult for a jacket that isn't in production). If you can't, then the jacket is just more rubbish.

 

Gear that is used and rinsed frequently seems to last better than gear that comes out to play on only a few occasions: I don't know why this is...

 

Tim

 

B)

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The leak is along one edge where it looks as though the heat weld came undone. While there's not one big leak there are about 10 places along this one seam where tiny bubbles come out of the stitching. It sounds from the above that purchasing a new one is the best thing to do.

 

"I treat my BCD like crap and it is still going strong 7 years later Good old Seaquest Balance"

 

I've seen those old aqualung horseshoe collars from the 1960s at garage sales fully inflated and just sitting there in the hot sun holding air like the day they were made. That's why I was a little shocked to see a relatively new BC give up the ghost that way.

 

Thanks for the replies. I think my wife and I have decided to get her that Zeagle Zena. The lifetime warranty is appealing at this point.

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HI,

It may be possible to get a replacement bladder. I don't think I would

try to repair the old one. As this is a peice of saftey equipment this is

just my point of view.

Andy

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If she likes how the zena feels she will love it.

 

I want one like it for guys (ie. bigger and not tailored for boobs

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I think you are going to have to get new BC. If you were on a week long dive trip and your bc was leaking then aquasure would get you through the trip but as a long term repair (in my experience) it will not hold up.

 

We have had a few BC's leak from the same area as yours and it is usually a manufacturing error, welding the seam too close to the stitching. Luckily for us it has always been inside the 1 year warranty.

 

You could try contacting Dacor/Mares they may have had a recall on your BC and may replace it?

 

Martin

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"If she likes how the zena feels she will love it.

 

I want one like it for guys (ie. bigger and not tailored for boobs"

 

That's funny because after I saw her try one on in Florida I was thinking the same thing. These BC's are very lightweight and look like a dream to pack.

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ce4jesus,

Dacor huh, Even if it’s not under warrantee I would send it directly to Dacor and complain unless your shop wants to do it. I had a Scuba Pro International Orange Stab jacket for 17 year that never leaked and have been using the same set of Dive Rite wings for the past 11 years no problems though they do show the wear. Your jacket is newer probably better technology and unless you miss used it, it should hold up. Dacor is an old established mid west company that has a solid reputation for making decent equipment. I think they would want to do something about it. I would never purchase a piece of gear that my life depended on that only lasted only two years much more importantly I would never want my wife to use it as I am sure that you feel the same. The technology is just too good these days to accept anything less warrantee or no warrantee. I bet Dacor personnel would feel the same way. Good luck. vr / Andy

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Dacor is an old established mid west company that has a solid reputation for making decent equipment.
Dacor was bought by Mares 2 years ago, and yes used to make some solid equipment back in the day ... but all equipment used to be solid back in the day. It's not so true in todays manufacturing world. It all comes from Italy .. and just like most Mares equipment ... it tends to suck nowadays (unless you just happen to luck out and get a good quality item)

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I treat my BCD like crap and it is still going strong 7 years later Good old Seaquest Balance

 

I like my Balance, but I have had a persistent problem with the dump hose. It has torn three times over the last 7 years. I am really careful with my gear and I can't figure out why this keeps happening, other than the design is flawed. Although it looks like a single hose, it actually has three pieces that snap together. The joints are tubes of hard plastic with soft rubber over them. The rubber breaks at these joints. I don't use the dump valve on since it requires pulling the tube.

 

The last time this happened was a couple of weeks ago. I was diving on Roca Partida. It failed catastrophically (ie broke in HALF) during my safety stop and the BC wouldn't hold air. Fortunately I don't overweight myself and was able to swim to the surface without problem, otherwise I would have had to drop my weights. The real issue was when I took the rig off to get into an inflatable. I forgot that even though I was neutrally buoyant with the gear on, I was VERY positive and it was VERY negative. When I took it off to get into the boat I had to hang onto it for dear life or it would have plummeted to the briny deep (over 300ft)! Fortunately we were able to lift the rig into the boat before that happened.

 

I like the BC, but with this sort of failure mode I am thinking of ditching it and getting something more mechanically robust.

Edited by drsteve

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Steve

 

this is a tiny problem, and infact most mass produced BCDs use the same weak Inflator hose.

 

Simple solution,don't replace it with the same seaquest hose, they pretty much are all interchangeable .. get a bigger tougher one if thats what you want.

 

I replaced mine with a generic brand slim hose ...(although mine never broke as bad as yours probably as I never use it and rarely connect it, bad instructor habit :) )

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Dacor was bought by Mares 2 years ago, and yes used to make some solid equipment back in the day ... but all equipment used to be solid back in the day. It's not so true in todays manufacturing world. It all comes from Italy .. and just like most Mares equipment ... it tends to suck nowadays (unless you just happen to luck out and get a good quality item)

 

HI, I take it Giles that you do not rate dive kit from Italy?? Well I have two Seac- Sub BCDs

& they are both great. My first one is a Pro 3000 which use in the UK, this BCD is bullet proof

& very hard wearing. My second one is a Icaro tech this is a very lite well made BCD, which I

take on hoildays. I understand that most dive kit is mass produced to give better prices, but this

must be supply & demand which in to days world of throw away lifestile. Sorry state of affairs but

that is the way it is, But you can get good quality mass produced dive kit, Im just you may have some.

Andy

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I like double bladdered BDC's best. The problem one sounds like a single bladder (a single material providing both abrasion protection and air-proofness).

 

i dived with a second hand double bladdered BCD untill the outer bladder just rotted away (some nice reactions in scapa, as I repaired it with sticky tape :-). I also used a second hand single bladder, with no problems like these.

 

Best way is to seal the threads again on the outside. OK it's not pretty, but if you put any glue on the inside, everything will stick together. If it doesnt work, I'm afraid a new one is in order.

 

I only once had a corrugated hose break, more wear and tear then a sudden failure.

 

Gerard

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HI, I take it Giles that you do not rate dive kit from Italy?? Well I have two Seac- Sub BCDs

& they are both great. My first one is a Pro 3000 which use in the UK, this BCD is bullet proof

& very hard wearing. My second one is a Icaro tech this is a very lite well made BCD, which I

take on hoildays. I understand that most dive kit is mass produced to give better prices, but this

must be supply & demand which in to days world of throw away lifestile. Sorry state of affairs but

that is the way it is, But you can get good quality mass produced dive kit, Im just you may have some.

Andy

Keeping the italian analogy going.... comparing Mares to Seac Sub is kinda like comparing Fiat to Ferrari. I never said i didn't like Italian anything, it's just well known that they own a lot of the mass produced diving equipment companies. I'm not a huge fan of todays Mares or Dacor I am yet to see a product that consistently lasts,especially when used by a pro instructor. I saw a pair of solid looking Mares fins (Volos) die in 2 weeks and a Mares BCD die in under a year. The Dacor stuff is mostly identical nowadays with different asthetics and branding.

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The last time this happened was a couple of weeks ago. I was diving on Roca Partida. It failed catastrophically (ie broke in HALF) during my safety stop and the BC wouldn't hold air. Fortunately I don't overweight myself and was able to swim to the surface without problem, otherwise I would have had to drop my weights. The real issue was when I took the rig off to get into an inflatable. I forgot that even though I was neutrally buoyant with the gear on, I was VERY positive and it was VERY negative. When I took it off to get into the boat I had to hang onto it for dear life or it would have plummeted to the briny deep (over 300ft)! Fortunately we were able to lift the rig into the boat before that happened.

 

I like the BC, but with this sort of failure mode I am thinking of ditching it and getting something more mechanically robust.

 

When i was working out there a dummy with a steel tank didn't inflate their BC on the surface and it plummeted! A crew member had a nice 320' dive at Roca Partida to recover it! Wouldn't fancy a DCS hit out there!

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When i was working out there a dummy with a steel tank didn't inflate their BC on the surface and it plummeted! A crew member had a nice 320' dive at Roca Partida to recover it! Wouldn't fancy a DCS hit out there!

 

 

Get new BC - once a seam has gone it's just the beginning.

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When i was working out there a dummy with a steel tank didn't inflate their BC on the surface and it plummeted! A crew member had a nice 320' dive at Roca Partida to recover it! Wouldn't fancy a DCS hit out there!

If I had dropped the rig, much as it would have hurt financially, I would have written it off. A 320' dive would be crazy out there. I know there is a chamber on Socorro, but it never was quite clear if the Mexican military would let you use it in an emergency.

 

I'm sorry, this thread has drifted from the original topic. To address the original question, if the bladder is leaking, IMHO the BC must be replaced. The BC is an important safety device. It isn't worth the risk of a catastrophic failure. Even though it is out of warrantee, hopefully the manufacturer will step up to the plate and either replace it or offer a credit towards a new one.

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Lets remember that your BC is a piece of life support equipment so unless you are trying to get our of your marriage without having to foot the bill for a divorce buy her a new one.

 

It sounds like the model in question has no inner bladder and if it is leaking from the seams the weld in those areas are failing. Generally if a weld is poor it is poor everywhere so it is only a mater of time before the entire BC is leaking. No amount a repair will stop the continued break down of the weld.

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I'm with Giles, Andy and other posters re: ce4jesus' original post. If this had been a pinhole or tear, I might go along with putting a patch on it. But it's a seam, and you don't mention any local damage or stress that could have caused that specific failure. So even if your repair works, I think you have to consider the risk that the weld/glue may soon fail at other places. This is life support equipment.

 

(Edit: Since I started this msg, Nemo has just posted making much the same post, but I'll leave this in.)

 

I also prefer wings that have a bladders inside a zipped on cover, but as I recently found out, they are not foolproof if the quality of construction is poor. Last October, the cover seams on my Halcyon Eclipse wing just started falling apart. Like your bc, only two years old. These are sewn seams, and the material past the seam had not been properly taped or heat treated, so it had just frayed. The cover also started to fall apart near the base of the inflator house. This wing has done a lot of dives, but it's still only two years, and has been well taken care of. Unfortunately, I was on a live-aboard in the middle of the Banda Sea at the start of 30 days back to back trips. It was emergency repair time. I used wet suit glue, duct tape (on the inside), covering all of both seams and strips from a camera cloth (on the outside, just where seams were actually falling apart ) to hold everything together until the end of the trips.

 

The inner bladder was not directly affected by the cover falling apart, but the wing would have been unusable and unsafe if I had not been able to hold the cover together.

 

I sent the wing back to Halycon in the US via my dive shop in Hong Kong last November, but I still haven't heard anything back about a replacement wing. That's four months now. That has been surprising to me, as was the early failure of this piece of equipment. Two years ago, when I had a pin hole leak in a Halycon Pioneer wing, they flew a new wing out to me from Florida to Indonesia within a week or so. I used to be a big Halcyon fan, and I have recommended their gear to a lot of people over the years. But I'm afraid this wing was really a piece of junk. And getting no word from anybody about whether and when they will replace the wing for four months basically sucks.

 

I've purchased a new wing, from OMS, that seems to be verywell constructed. The bladder is very heavy, solid looking material, and the inner seams of the cover are taped and separately sewn to prevent unravelling. I'm not 100% sure about the color (bright red), but I'm learning to live with it. I also still have another Halycon wing, a pioneer (welded, no inner bladder) for my other BP rig that is two years older than the Eclipse which failed, and still is fine. But I'm keeping an eye on it.

 

post-1236-1174006644_thumb.jpg post-1236-1174006673_thumb.jpg post-1236-1174006718_thumb.jpg

 

Robert Delfs

Edited by frogfish

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"Lets remember that your BC is a piece of life support equipment so unless you are trying to get our of your marriage without having to foot the bill for a divorce buy her a new one."

 

Haha. No we joke all the time about how one day I'll suck on the reg and get a mouth full of saltwater as my wife swims away with dive knife in hand. However, I just purchased her the Seaquest Diva. She seems to like it so we'll give that one a shot. As for the other BC I am currently returning it to the place where it was purchased. They've at least agree to "evaluate it" and give us their opinion.

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Why wouldn't consider sending it to the manufacturer for repair? The charge will be nothing to get essentually a newly reconditioned BC. Self repair on BC's is not easy to sustain as has been clearly mentioned here. Heck, they may even simply replace the bladder (if it's bladder based) or the shell for $50-$100 bucks.

 

Joe

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Joe,

I first called the place where I purchased it. They said they would contact the manufacturer on my behalf.

 

 

Gary

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